I didn’t know what to expect from a pair of headphones coming from Griffin. After all, we love their great accessories but never really thought of them as a source for headphones or speakers. Add in the fact that the Griffin WoodTones headphones are under $100 and you can understand my initial skepticism. Thankfully, I was delightfully surprised.
Yes, these Griffin WoodTones headphones are under $100, but they are built quite well and sound quite good. They won’t compete with headphones in the $250-$350 price range, but the WoodTones aren’t supposed to. When put up against other sub-$100 headphones these impress; they stand out in pretty much every regard.
Let’s start with the design of the headphones themselves. These are relatively light, but they feel substantial and solid. The use of real wood on the ear cups gives the Woodtones a unique, attention-grabbing look. They certainly stand out in an evermore crowded marketplace.
- WoodTones are quite possibly the most comfortable headphones on the market. Whether listening for 5 minutes or 5 hours, your ears won’t feel fatigue.
- WoodTones Over-The-Ear Phones combine ultra-soft circumaural cushions and a self-adjusting, one-size-fits-all headband that gives a perfect fit every time. Put them on, press play and forget ‘em.
The company isn’t kidding about the comfort. The WoodTones are light and a pleasure to wear.
The ear cup padding is plentiful without being overly heavy. Although these won’t win any awards for their noise isolation, they actually do a decent job of blocking out some degree of ambient noise. Griffin makes a big deal out of the shape and the comfort of the headphones, and they are right to do so.
Weird shapes. On purpose. Your ears aren’t circular. Why should your headphones be any different? The fact is, most people’s ears are taller than they are wide. WoodTones Over-The-Ear rectangular shape sits more comfortably. Which means you can listen more.
These are outstanding in the comfort department.
The WoodTones don’t fold up for easy storage. That’s a bummer if you are someone who likes to bring your headphones with you when you head out for the day. Still, when you are looking at a pair of quality headphones that are made with real wood and retail for under $100 something has to give. I’m no headphone manufacturer, but I have to imagine it is more expensive to use hinges – especially quality hinges that will last more than a month — than it is to build headphones that do not fold.
The detachable cable and its wood accents is a nice touch. The inline controller has a microphone and plays nicely with Siri. I certainly wouldn’t look at these as my main headset for calls, but it can certainly step in and handle your conversations in a pinch.
As I note in the video, I was initially bummed that the cable only connects to one of the ear cups. I really love ambidextrous cable connections that can attach to either ear since, depending on the location of the audio source, it can greatly help with cable management. As it turns out, the inputs may not be ambidextrous but the headphones are. That means you can wear them with the cable coming off either ear. Nice!
The housings of the WooTtones are hand-turned and made from one of three different woods.
- Walnut- Wood from walnut trees, used in making of fine furniture, gunstocks, and decorative pieces, with distinctive wood grain and rich, dark coloring.
- Sapele- Also known as aboudikro, wood from sapele trees, used for making musical instruments, reminiscent of mahogany, with distinctive grain and coloring.
- Beech- Wood from beech trees, with clear wood grain and light coloring.
And because each pair of headphones is hand-turned from real wood, no two will be exactly alike. That’s pretty neat!
It’s worth noting again that these headphones are under $100, since their specs that don’t reflect that fact.
- 50 mm moving coil neodymium magnet drivers for powerful sound
- Over 90-degree pivoting earphones
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Sensitivity: 108 dB ± 3 dB
- Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
- Detachable 1/8″ (3.5 mm) cable with built-in mic
And… They sound good!!
Yeah, yeah. So how do they sound? We used highly scientific testing to tweak WoodTones’ sound… We listened to a lot of music we liked. When we were satisfied with the sound, we locked down the spec.
No, the Griffin WoodTones don’t offer the degree of clarity or bass I enjoy when listening to headphones such as the V-Moda M-100s or JBL’s Synchros S700, but they aren’t designed to compete with such pricey products. These are headphones designed and built for casual listening, and for that use scenario they excel. The experience of listening to them is clean, enjoyable, and comfortable. They are just $99.99, but they don’t look or sound like it! And at that price they will make a terrific holiday gift for your loved one who needs a unique pair of good-sounding headphones.
What I Like: Nicely priced; Real, hand-turned wood; Inline controller and microphone; Light and comfortable; Sound surprisingly good for their price
What Needs Improvement: I wish they folded up for storage and carrying
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample